It’s Ed Malinowski by day, Hugh Citron by night, power lunches and a quality staff in between. That’s what makes the Stratosphere revolve, especially during Super Bowl week.
There’s a Vegas edition Matthau-Lemmon and Klugman-Randall. It’s Ed Malinowski by day, Hugh Citron by night, power lunches and a quality staff in between.
That’s what makes the Stratosphere revolve, especially during Super Bowl week.
“The Super Bowl can overcome any matchup because of what it has become in Las Vegas,” explained Ed Malinowski, director of race and sports or as he would rather be called, Ed. “As the game approaches, it’s a matter of knowing what teams are in, setting the futures, adjusting the line and letting it settle. We see where it goes with the public.”
Unlike most books in Las Vegas, Stratosphere sets its own independent lines and distributes them to sister properties in town at Arizona Charlie’s East (Boulder Hwy.) and West (Decatur between Sahara and Charleston).
“One of the biggest handles we had was Seattle vs. Pittsburgh (SB XL or 40, won by Pittsburgh, 21-10, as a 4-point favorite) because it happened at a time (2006) the economy was moving,” said Citron, who has run books in Vegas at Mandalay Bay and Circus Circus since arriving in 1993.
Malinowski, a Vegas resident for 17 years, felt Green Bay-New England would have drawn the largest handle based on prop bets involving quarterbacks Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady.
“Seattle is good as well and even Indianapolis would have had a high handle,” he said. “We usually have over 200 proposition bets and try to keep them as easy as possible. Don’t want too much thinking involved.”
The two weeks between the league championship games and Super Bowl has been mentioned as a reason for the inordinate number of blowout results over the past 48 SB editions. From a betting standpoint, the extra week works real well for setting up a strategy to give the public what they want in betting options.
“We will incorporate our props with the NBA games and the EPL (English Premier League) that day,” Malinowski said. “Soccer is growing and draws more interest than does the NHL.”
“Super Bowl props are really fantasy bets,” Citron said. “It’s just a different interpretation that we use”
Stratosphere puts out daily parlays for first period lines in hockey, as well as baseball and soccer. All ties lose cards, but with a major caveat.
“Ties lose actually works to the player’s advantage because we put that number out on daily parlays in the morning and can adjust the number,” Malinowski said.
“Our players know the card and like the fact we can update them by making our own lines,” he added.
The Stratosphere also possesses what they call “our hidden gem” – the upstairs showroom, which each Sunday during the NFL’s regular season and early round playoffs has a stadium/concert feel.
“There are big screen TV’s, two betting windows open, table games, Party Pit dealers, simply the best place for the money in Las Vegas,” Malinowski said. “We don’t have the momentum of a Westgate or the excellent restaurant at Lagasse Stadium (Palazzo), but honestly if I wasn’t in the business I would be in our showroom on Sundays.”
This Sunday, though, entrance to the showroom is more difficult – reserved for a player development party (aka, high rollers and VIP’s).
“For the most part we cater to a different kind of clientele, more in line with Riviera, Circus Circus and downtown,” Malinowski said. “We are not competing with anyone. All of us are just trying to run our own good book. Why change something that works?”
Mark Mayer has over 35 years covering sports events and is the sports editor at GT. Reach him at [email protected]